6 January 2016
The Zionist Federation of Australia Calls For International Pressure on Malaysia To Reverse Its Vindictive Visa Policy Towards Israeli Athletes
ZFA President Danny Lamm has called upon the Malaysian Government to reverse its vindictive denial of entry visas to Israeli athletes seeking to compete in next month’s World Team Table Tennis Championships in Kuala Lumpur. As of today, Malaysia has not issued visas to members of the Israeli national team, placing Israel’s participation in the Championships in doubt. This incident has taken place just one month after the Israeli Sailing Association was forced to withdraw its athletes from the Youth World Sailing Championships in Langkwai after they were similarly denied Malaysian entry visas.
While a single such incident of this type could be ascribed to bureaucratic oversight, two such occurrences taking place in rapid succession would indicate that more insidious factors might be at play.
"Through what appears to be deliberate policy, Malaysia has betrayed the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) definition of sport as: ‘a recognised instrument for promoting peace’" said Dr Lamm. "The Malaysian Government’s actions arguably have anti-Semitic undertones as well.... The values espoused by International Olympic Committee include: “sport practiced without discrimination of any kind. The ZFA urges the international sporting community to pressure the Government of Malaysia to live up to Olympic ideals by granting entry visas to Israeli athletes".